lately

latelyHey ya’ll! If you wondered where I’ve been let’s just say all work and no play make Rochelle a very busy but dull girl. If I would have been blogging it would all be construction tales and well, 2x4s and paint colors don’t make my little heart go pitter-patter. But the end is nearing and here is what’s happening when I’m not busy bonding with my paint roller!

Loving this positive message

Excited to have wrapped up the nursery remodel and to be moving onto the last BIG construction project

Mowing down on this delicious salad (nom nom!)

Still walking 5 miles a day thanks to some Fitbit motivation

Marveling that the belly and I only have a little over 11 weeks to go.

Realizing that I’ve got a ton of work to get done before the due date.

Dreaming about doing this

Happy dancing that fall is finally here!

getting ready for baby

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When you hear people talk about getting ready for baby, things that come to mind usually include shopping for baby clothes, creating a nursery, and maybe buying a new car. In our family that phrase apparently has a different meaning. First my brother and his wife and now Jake and I have undertaken major remodeling projects as part of “getting ready for baby.” I’m sure we’re not alone in this department but at the rate we’re going baby’s arrival is going be a welcome break from the construction.

Here’s a quick peek at what we’ve been up to this summer and why the adventures have come to a screeching halt. (I promise this is only a temporary pause!)

The down and dirty:

The bathroom remodel (which started last November and actually had nothing to do with baby) is freshly tiled, the trim almost finished and except for one cabinet door and a window insert is done. This is cause for many happy dances.

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Our side yard got a makeover with new sod, a hanging bed and a new fire pit. This leaves the backyard for the dogs but give us a fun place to hang out with family and friends. And it makes grass safe for bare feet. Oh yes, I have missed that so!

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The former (sort-of) screened-in porch is becoming a new front room/office space. Six windows, lots of insulation and one restored wood floor later, its well on its way to being finished. Now where to put all those toys that used to live there…

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Next up…

Baby’s room needs brought into the 21st century. The buffalo board will get torn out, the electric rewired, new insulation installed, a window or two to replace the old, drafty ones and then sheet rocked and repainted. Although this sounds painful and time-consuming, one perk of our ancient house is all the rooms are the size of a peanut so this project should be less involved than it sounds.

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And last but not least is stripping and resanding the hardwood floors. Baby’s little feet need someplace smooth to learn to walk! This has been on the list for a few years but we were hoping to have all the sheetrock replaced before this happened. Well….let’s just say plans changed! After our experience with restoring the wood floor in the front room I actually expect this to be a lot easier and faster than I ever imagined. Silverline floor sanders are genius! If you ever have to redo a wood floor I highly recommend their product.

Yes, this is a ton of work. It sounds like it to me to and I know Jake is feeling it. He’s been a rockstar, doing more than his fair share of the work. But when baby needs a safe place to grow and play this is what gets done. Stay tuned for more pics as we continue “getting ready for baby.” Who knows maybe one day we’ll even get around to shopping for baby clothes, creating a nursery and maybe buying a new car!

working the custer county fair

countyfair3County fair season holds a special place in my heart. As a kid it meant 4-H judging, hot summer days and cold snow cones, and fun times with rarely seen friends before school started up again. As much work as it to get to fair with all my projects, once we got there it was all about the fun. In my 20’s there wasn’t much time for fair attendance as fire seasons and fair usually collided but since reaching my 30’s I’ve managed to squeeze in a day or two each year. This year, I finally had a chance to volunteer and give back.

My office helps sponsor a free Buffalo Barbecue Feed and we have the opportunity to help serve. Even though this fair isn’t in the county where I live, I jumped at the chance to have a reason to go to the fair. Besides it sounded like a good time and a great way to make some new friends.

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Custer County, South Dakota is fairly rural and the sense of community was obvious at the fair. Little boy playing tag while leaping from hay bale to hay bale, toddlers weaving between pairs of Wranglers searching for a familiar face, teens of all ages flirting and hiding from their parents, and friends of all ages gathered around picnic tables catching up. This, for me, is what fair is all about.

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After helping serve supper to a bunch of hungry folks, it was time to join the fun. Jake joined me and we wandered the fairgrounds taking it all in. We wandered the exhibit halls, cruised through the livestock, and laughed at the antics of the local ranch rodeo. Unfortunately, it was time to leave sooner than we wished and although it wasn’t my local county fair this one too will hold a special place in my heart.